The statue in Verona portraying the character of Juliet Capulet from William Shakespeare’s romantic tragedy has been damaged by people rubbing it for good luck.
Over the years, visitors to Verona’s Casa di Giulietta (Juliet’s House) have rubbed the bronze statue’s right breast in a good-luck rite. However, the affectionate gesture has brought bad luck to the statue. The repeated action has created large holes on the statue’s right breast, wrist and arms, and the holes are widening.
Giuseppe Franco Viviani, of Verona’s Accademia di Agricoltura, Scienze e Lettere (Agriculture, Science and Literature Academy), first raised concerns that the damage to the statue may make it unstable and a danger to visitors. However, the authorities have said there is no danger of the statue collapsing, pointing out that surveillance cameras and the municipal police constantly monitor the area where the statue stands. Verona’s mayor is to receive a report on the state of the statue, and then decide what to do in order to repair and maintain the famous symbol of love.
The Casa di Giulietta is a popular tourist attraction because of its possible connection to the heroine in ‘Romeo and Juliet’, which is set in Verona. It is thought that the house is the former home of the Cappello family, who may have been the model for the Capulets in the play.